Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe, chronic mental health condition that develops from traumatic life experiences. However, effective treatment options for the mental disorder have been identified that have yielded good results. Psychotherapy for PTSD is one of the gold standard treatment options.
According to the guidelines for PTSD treatments released by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2017, psychotherapy is a highly suggested treatment for PTSD. according to the borderIt deals with psychotherapy that focuses heavily on trauma. This means that it helps patients directly manage the feelings, thoughts and emotions associated with the traumatic event.
There are several different types of psychotherapy for PTSD. Let’s dive into how they work.
Types of psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder
1. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy:
- It deals with the relationship between thoughts and behaviors,
- Targets PTSD problems and symptoms
- It works to change thoughts and behavior patterns.
Therapists who treat PTSD patients use many different strategies to help reduce symptoms and increase functioning. They may encourage patients to re-evaluate and rethink their thinking patterns to address negative and problematic emotions. Therapy is used to change the understanding and perception of a traumatic life experience in a patient’s life.
2. Prolonged exposure therapy
Prolonged exposure therapy is another type of psychotherapy widely used for PTSD. It is considered a form of behavioral therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. This is because exposure therapy works to address behaviors that the patient has developed due to a traumatic experience.
For example, a person who has been in a car accident may develop the habit of driving completely to avoid car accidents in the future. This type of learned behavior that comes from a tendency to avoid the traumatic experience in the future may make PTSD symptoms last longer.
Exposure therapy helps the patient overcome avoidance behavior and ultimately improves their quality of life. It allows them to face their fears in order to help them overcome them completely.
3. Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
Cognitive processing therapy helps relieve symptoms of PTSD. It has been found to be very successful in reducing symptoms that occur from PTSD due to:
- childhood trauma,
- abuse and
- natural disasters.
Treatment with CPT begins with psychoeducation. It means to provide education regarding the situation and the thoughts and emotions related to it. This helps build a better understanding of the patient and what they are going through. They are then asked to write an impact statement detailing their perception of why the traumatic event occurred and how it affected them.
Then, a more formal part of treatment begins with a focus on treating the trauma. The patient writes down and reads the most challenging aspects of the traumatic experience in sessions to break the chain of negative feelings.
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PTSD is a challenging stress disorder that requires appropriate treatment and care. Psychotherapy for PTSD can help relieve symptoms. In addition, more awareness about the condition and its treatment options will help people find the right help when needed.
Now that you know about PTSD, let us help you understand another common stress disorder. To learn more about acute stress disorder, click over here.
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